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Log No. 2007-04 Turkey: Cesme to Ayvalik

Day 30: Friday, 7 September 2007 Entering Turkey from Cesme


Previous stories are posted on Past section. Our cruising 2007 logs are posted at 2007-01  2007-02 and 2007-03 in chronological order. You can also  read our decision and events leading up to the purchase, boat survey, purchasing process, registration process, etc. under introduction section.

Back to where we are: Pictures: Drinking Turkish coffee at the customs director's office, after clearance by customs and police, raising the Turkish flag.

We crossed the channel between Khios and Cesme with ease, started at 8:00 am and arrived in the marina at 9:30. Someone hailed us and helped us to tie the boat. We learnt that the marina was owned by the harbour authority and it was practically empty. It had water and electricity at about $35 per day for a 12m boat.

We went to the customs office to find the director (general manager) of customs. He was not there but other officers told us that we need to go to another harbour to get the registration forms. The other place was about 20 minutes away, so I got on a minibus (dolmus) paid 2TL (approximately 1.4 USD) and got the forms. By the time I came back, it was lunch break so we waited until 1:30 pm. Once we filled out the forms, it was first approved at the health office then at the harbour office then to the customs then we had Bob's and Elizabeth's visas and stamps, got the forms back to the harbour. No fees were paid except for 45 Euro for visas which all Canadians pay.

At the customs director's office, we had first class welcoming treatment with Turkish coffee and took a few pictures. Camerons were happy that we were safely in Turkey and could go anywhere they wanted to go.

So, the plan was that I go to Izmir to unite my wife and real snow white (our daughter) and they go to Ephesus which was already arranged by Bob at the tourism office by the harbour.

We made plans for the next few days as follows.

We will tour the area by boat and/or by car. Then we will go to Foca, Candarli and Ayvalik. After hauling the boat we will go to Istanbul for the last five days of the journey.

38.40'. 00 N and 26.45'.00 E

Day 31-32: Saturday-Sunday, 8-9 September 2007 Cesme and Izmir

I rented a car from Charlie Cafe across the marina for 80 TL a day for three days. I drove to Izmir to re-unite with my family, Becky (Happy) and Arsu Karli (Snow White) after 30 days of being at sea. We stayed in Izmir at her aunt's place. After successfully repairing my cell phone (dropped into the sea in Greece), I was able to use the same phone and number again. We did some shopping and sight seeing. Izmir was busy and hectic, it took some getting used to after being away from traffic and populated areas for long times.


Circumcision ceremony and parade

Day 33: Monday, 10 September 2007, Full crew on boat


We arrived in Cesme on Monday afternoon. Settled in the boat, Camerons were out in Cesme. Left them a note and went to visit our professor friend from North Carolina State University. Dr. Ozisik is now bed ridden but he acknowledged our arrival. He is one of the foremost authority in heat transfer whose projects I worked 30 years ago while studying for my master's degree at North Carolina State University. His wife, Sevgi is a medical (eye) doctor, took us around Cesme and surroundings. We stopped and took many pictures in Alacati where they are building Riviera type canal and houses along which you can tie your sail boat. I think we need to work three times as hard and get a place there before they are all gone. We took some video shots of the place to review it later.

Day 34: Tuesday, 11 September 2007, Cesme bay

Snow White at the wheelCesme We had a day trip around the bays in larger Cesme Bay. It was a beautiful day with light breeze so we did have some sailing. We stopped and had a very expensive milk shake and tea ($5+ each) at Altin Yunus Hotel (Golden Dolphin). This was the place where they had no space in the marina. In the evening, we went our separate ways, had dinner in town.

 38.40'. 00 N and 26.45'.00 E

.Expensive cafe at the Golden Dolphin hotel

Day  36: Wednesday, 12-13 September 2007,  Foca

Foca side walk Snow White boarding a ferry boatDinner in Foca, including seaweed beans, fish, mezes, yummy!Grilling fish, anchovies, sardines, mackarel

We left Cesme at about 10:30 am on Wednesday morning and headed north to Foca. Again it was a picture perfect day with wind from behind sailing all the way to our destination. It was almost 5 pm when we arrived.

I called the harbour authority to arrange us a place whom I had already spoken before. He said to board the ferry boat which would be safer and quieter. So, we approached the boat, there was nobody there but starboard side was blocked by a boat. We boarded the port side which was open to wind. So, we decided to switch sides. Bob made a sharp entry, I jumped out and tried to hold and tie the boat. We came in pretty hard but the bumpers were on the side protecting us. We secured the boat and all crew went to explore the town. I found the harbour person to confirm our place. We moved the other boat a bit farther which happened to be the captain's boat and secured our boat by the ferry boat entrance. Foca is known for its windy conditions and this day was no exception. 

We spent another day here, bought fish from the locals and had them grilled on a barrowed charcoal grill. We had a great time with walking around, swimming, shopping and watching the fishing boats coming in and going out. The fishing season just started and fish was in abundance everywhere.

With Captain Tayyar, of the ferry boat

Talking to friends in Canada


Day 37: Friday, 14 September 2007, Foca to Candarli

High winds and waves entering Candarli baySailing at 8 knots to Ayvalik

We left Foca at 11:45 am. The wind was blowing already at 20 knots in the harbour. We wanted to go to Candarli which was about 20 nm away. As we turned around the nose of the bay, it was blowing very hard over 30 knots with 3-5m high waves and right on the nose. We tried to take the waves in an angle but that lost us a lot of time. By the time we entered into Candarli port it was past 4 pm (which would have been a three hours ride). Candarli fishing port was so shallow we barely turned around perhaps hitting the ground at 1.5m. We went to eastern bay and found a deeper area and anchored there. It was a quiet place, most summer holiday people were gone, we saw a few swimmers and fishing boats. Bob and Elizabeth stayed on boat while the rest of us went to see Becky's lot in a summer resort area. We rented a taxi cab for 40 YTL who took us to the place and back about 15 km away. 

We returned to the boat before dark. Today was also marked the start of Ramadan, the holly month of Muslim religion. The night was uneventful. Anchored at Candarli

Day 38-39: Saturday-Sunday, 15-16 September 2007, Ayvalik

Calm sea to DikiliMembers of Alpugans on the rightWind mill restored by Koc in AyvalikAyvallik from Devil's foot


We left Candarli early to catch early morning quiet times at around 8 am. It was indeed a flat sea all the way to Dikili which was 15 nm away. We could not find a space in Dikili harbour which also had questionable depth. We said we could make it to Ayvalik another 18 nm away. It was only 11:30 am.

As we headed out for Ayvalik, wind picked up to around 18 knots right on the nose of course. However, we wanted to sail and made some progress by tacking since we had time to. After the wind speed reached 24 knots, it was time to motor only. We took both sails down and headed for Ayvalik. It was a marked channel into Ayvalik with about 7m depth. On the way in, we called the marina office (SETUR) to ask for directions. They directed us to the opposite side of the bay into Cunda port which had 2.5m water. I asked for directions again and told to turn around to the other side of the bay about 2 nm away. Anyway, we were greeted by a marina boat to our location which was right in front of the office. I came along the port side easily and tied the boat. Office manager came in and welcomed us. We got electricity and water hook ups. It was about 5 pm. I congratulated the crew for "mission accomplished!" After all had showers and a little rest, I took them to town and treated all for a traditional home made Turkish meal. We all ate so much that were thinking about dieting for the next month. But, just along the sidewalk on the way back to the boat, Becky found a place for additional desert, I ate a special custard with ice-cream.

We had a good night sleep and had a full breakfast on board.

The next morning, we completed the registration and haul out timing. We found a bus company which will take us to Istanbul on Tuesday evening. I had the gas station bring over diesel to top up the tank while others had a light lunch.

That afternoon, Becky's friends, the Alpugan family came with two cars, took us to a hill called Devil's foot which had a beautiful view of the area, then to the beaches area, and then to the old city. We really enjoyed this sight seeing. Then they offered us tea at a seaside restaurant in the old city.

We had dinner at the marina. Marina provided free wireless internet, all had a chance to update themselves via internet and emails. At the marina - Snow White in the backgroundGreek Church in Ayvalik

Day 40:  Monday, 17 September 2007, Bergama (Pergamum)

Pergamon an ancient town

Amazing place and history. We walked over the places that were build around 300-400 BC, place of fight for Persian, Peloponnesians, Trojans, Alexander the Great, and so on. You can view additional pictures from the link below


Day 41: Tuesday, 18 September 2007, Hauling Out Snow White

Snow White hauled out

We cleaned and prepared the boat all day long until 3 pm. Everyone worked hard to wash, clean, take out the stuff, bring the dingy, bimini, life raft in, emptied the water, top up the fuel tank, all the usual work. At 3:30 pm, we have successfully hauled out Snow White. It had a good power wash, we inspected it all around and arranged for winterization, etc. Camerons took many pictures which will be posted here soon. It was about 6 pm, Alpugan family came along, took all of us to their home and had an excellent dinner while waiting for our bus departure time. Becky, Arsu and Oyku took a different bus to go to Zonguldak, back to their home town, while we took our bus to go to Istanbul. We all left at the same time, 10:30 pm.

Day 42-47: 19-24 September 2007, Istanbul

Galata Tower built by Geonese in 528 AD

Shop admirers in Covered Bazaar

Gold and jewellery everywhere

Spice (Egyptian) Bazaar

We arrived in Istanbul via this first class bus by Varan company at about 7am. They had a service bus to the hotel, Ramada Hotel. When we checked in, the hotel had the room ready for Camerons, prepared VIP style, courtesy of the connection we had from another hotel chain, Kempinski.

Camerons spent the next six days in sight seeing Istanbul. Among the places visited: Topkapi Palace and museum, including Harem and 86 karat diamond, Bosporus strait all the way to Black Sea, Spice (Egyptian) Bazaar, Covered Grand Bazaar

Suleymaniye Mosque

Galata Tower


Taksim Square, shopping malls, restaurants, belly dancing dinner on a boat, and many others. All in all, they had an excellent time.

Suleymaniye Mosque

View of Istanbul from Bosporus

 Day 48: 25 September 2007, Camerons leaving for Canada

Sailing grounds covered by Snow White

They left Turkey via Lufthansa back to Canada. Map shows the sea we have covered so far.

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